In the run-up to the assembly elections in September-October, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Mody today said the economies of Maharashtra and other states might collapse if migrant labourers from Bihar were banned entry.
Mody’s obvious reference was to the violent campaign by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena against the influx from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. Mody countered the anti-Bihari campaign and explained that due to various developmental work launched by the Bihar government, movement of migrant labourers from Bihar has reduced substantially.
“A reverse trend has already begun. There is a drastic fall in the numbers of Bihari labourers migrating to other states. There is every possibility that economies and industries of Maharashtra and elsewhere may collapse. Bihari labourers are integral part of the industrial work force but they never pose any threat to locals.”
Mody, who was speaking at the sidelines of the BJP national convention on good governance of chief ministers and deputy chief ministers near Mumbai, explained that the Bihar government’s initiatives in the field of infrastructure, agriculture and industry have opened up job opportunities. He said the National Employment Guarantee Scheme did not contribute much in opening up opportunities for Bihar because labourers got better wages of Rs 110 on various other government-launched construction work. He said the rise in Bihar’s annual plan size to Rs 20,000 crore in the current financial year against Rs 14,000 crore in 2009-10 would further expedite the growth rate.
Mody strongly criticised Raj Thackeray for the anti-Bihari campaign. “The reality is quite different as the Marathi Mannos in general is not against migrants from Bihar. Bihar labourers are doing a certain type of work which is in great demand.”
Mody referred to situations in Punjab where the Akali Dal-BJP government was giving subsidy to farmers to purchase Chinese-made paddy planters following a decline in the number of labourers from Bihar.
BJP national president Nitin Gadkari urged the BJP-ruled states to maintain a strong political will for providing result-oriented administration. “There is need for team spirit, development oriented approach to reach out to the poor and bring transformation,” he added.
Gadkari asked BJP members to refrain from the Congress culture of bootlickers.